Invisible Boundaries of Personal Justice


Cassandra Clare’s Cover of her novel: Lady Midnight [Taken from Good Reads (]

“Laws are meaningless, child,” Malcolm said in a low voice that somehow still carried. “There is nothing more important than love. And no law higher.”

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

This is one of my favorite quotes from this author because not only do I think it’s crafted beautifully in its syntaxes but its meaning is extremely relevant to what we are currently living. What I mean by this is that in these current political times where we face having certain liberties or “rights” taken from us how far will people go to get them back? Especially when its removal directly affects a loved one?  In modern day society we constantly see how people quite literally die or kill others for or in the name of another; so, how far will people go to get their rights back? Especially if the law isn’t taken into consideration when marking boundaries and instead measures of love are.  

I think that the quote works great because it could not ring any truer. Humanity shows us time and time again how far people will go for some people and not for others. For example, some people would jump in front of cars to save their pets while others won’t even buy them food. Two very opposite versions of the same situation. Can that same amount of extreme love be held for an ideal too? And if so will people be willing to go to the same lengths for these ideals that some people do for others?

Point of View’s, Tone, and Meaning

Cover of Lisa Jewell’s novel: The Girls in The Garden

“I wish I had a different dad,” Grace said.

“Oh, Grace, that’s so unfair…”

“No. It’s not unfair. It’s true. I wish I had a normal dad.”

“But then you wouldn’t exist. You and Pip. You wouldn’t be here.”

“Yeah, well, I wouldn’t know, would I? So it wouldn’t matter.”

– The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell

This excerpt from Lisa Jewell’s novel, The girls in the Garden, is written from the point of view of Clare, the mother of Grace. Clare’s husband and Grace’s dad, Chris, suffers a psychotic break and burns their house down. Chris ends up at a mental facility for treatment and Clare is forced to deal with relocating her family and starting over after the scandal. The author writes each of her chapters in different points of view and I find it very interesting that Jewell chose to write this scene in Clare’s point of view instead of Grace’s, and the meaning that writing it in this point of view gives it versus how any other point of view could change the meaning of the scene. This scene has a pretty big impact in my opinion because it’s clear how children are often underestimated in their thinking and analytical capabilities of situations. Grace expresses that she wants a dad that isn’t crazy and Clare reasons that if Grace had a different dad neither grace nor her sister, Pip, would exist, thinking that the love for her sister will change her mind. On the contrary, Grace counters that in this parallel universe where she has a different dad she wouldn’t be aware of anything she would be missing out on just like she isn’t now so it doesn’t really matter. To me this is intricate thinking for a 12 year old and was captivated enough to highlight Grace’s thinking. I also find interesting that Jewell didn’t write this in Grace’s point of view to see the child’s logic behind her thoughts and reasonings. I however, like that Jewell wrote it in a mother’s point of view because it adds to the overall tone and mood of the chapter.